Rush hour. Two little words that fill every commuter with dread. If an unofficial handbook were to define the phenomenon, it would probably read something like, 'A period of time in which London’s entire population attempt to travel at once, concertinaing themselves into awkward, unfathomable positions whilst snuggling up to strangers with excessive body odour.' Now I’m sure you love playing human 'Tetris' just as much as the next person, but what if we told you there was another, far more enjoyable way of experiencing London’s tube network?
You can thank Danni from One Stop Record Shop for introducing you to The Basement Gallery Underground Supper Club, an idea so brilliant it just might change the way you feel about public transport forever. The concept was conjured up by Cordon Bleu chef Alex Cooper and his flatmate Tom Fothergill in their Stockwell Road basement flat. The pair set out with the aim of challenging people's preconceived ideas of dinner parties, and challenge them they did.
A handful of years down the (Victoria) line, Walthamstow Pumphouse’s most unique dining experience has become an unprecedented hit. Unlike its claustrophobic counterpart, the concept benefits from a few thousand less commuters, no searing temperatures (unless you count the kitchen) and a guaranteed seat regardless of how many pregnant women are in the vicinity. Considering dinner takes place inside a decommissioned 1967 Victoria line tube carriage, you couldn’t hope for a more pleasant experience.
With prices ranging from £50 for a ‘Luggage rack special’ – consisting of communal dining with a number of other guests around one large table – through to £65 for a two person ‘VIP Booth’, you’ll never find yourself privy to a more sociable tube experience. Unfortunately, the downside comes on Monday morning when you’re served up a side of sweaty commuter as opposed to a four-course tasting menu. Well, we can't always get what we want now, can we?
The next one is on January 21. Book right here.
Want something to drink with that? Find Smirnoff cocktail recipes and fabulous things to do this festive season in our Advent Calendar of ideas inspired by Christmas celebrations from around the world. The weirder and more wonderful the better – we’re open!